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Arm’s race out West: Padres sign Johnson

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POSTED November 21, 2013 1:50 a.m.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Josh Johnson was looking for a team close to his Las Vegas home, and the San Diego Padres were looking for a potential top-of-the rotation pitcher. The sides quickly agreed on an $8 million, one-year contract that was finalized on Wednesday.

The Padres, coming off a second straight finish of 76-86, hope they’re getting the Johnson who was an All-Star with Miami in 2009 and 2010 and not the one slowed by triceps and forearm injuries last year while with Toronto.

General manager Josh Byrnes said the Padres decided that if they could find a starter who had the chance to a difference-maker, they were going to pursue him.

“Here’s a guy who led the league in ERA who has been a dominant pitcher,” Byrnes said. “We know there’s risk in any signing but we’re very excited about the upside.”

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